Misconceptions About Braces

Orthodontic treatment has evolved a lot over the years. If you haven’t spoken with an orthodontist in Melbourne in a long time, or you haven’t kept up with the field, you may have some misconceptions about braces. That’s okay!  A lot of people are surprised when they learn about some of the advances that have been made over the years. If you are thinking about braces for yourself or your child, here are some of the most common misconceptions that we hear about.

1. Wearing Braces is Painful

This is one of the biggest misconceptions that people have, and it’s simply not true. When first installed on the teeth, there is some discomfort that starts soon after. It takes a little bit of time for your teeth and gums, and the insides of the mouth, to adjust to having these new appliances in place. Pressure on the teeth is applied to gradually shift them over time. That initial pressure and discomfort will typically last for less than a week. Taking over-the-counter pain medication can help ease the discomfort if needed. However, once you adjust to having the braces on your teeth, you won’t even notice them most of the time.

2. Only Kids Can Benefit from Braces

While most common in children, about 20 percent of all patients being treated with braces at any given time in the US are adults. Orthodontic treatment works well with children and teens because their jaw structure is still developing. The teeth tend to be more pliable and “willing” to shift. This can result in shorter treatment times and better outcomes in some cases.

That does not preclude adults from wearing braces, however. Adults often choose treatment with less obtrusive appliances, such as Invisalign’s clear aligners or ceramic braces. 

3. My Child Will be Teased if They Have Braces

Most of the stigma surrounding braces has vanished these days. While many teens would choose Invisalign as their first choice, studies published at the National Library of Medicine have shown that kids have no problem with others wearing traditional metal braces. Kids can even personalize their experience with braces, by choosing which colors they want for their elastic bands.

4. Braces Prevent Some Activities

The truth is that wearing braces is not going to have a huge impact on activities you can participate in. Some kids worry that they won’t be able to play sports, play a wind instrument in the school band, or take part in other activities. This is not true. For some sports, it’s a great idea to wear a specialized mouthguard for extra protection. Playing a wind instrument, especially a brass instrument like a trumpet or trombone, will take a little bit of adjustment time. There is no reason why the patient would have to exclude these activities from their life while wearing braces however.

5. Braces Require Huge Dietary Changes

While there are some dietary changes that have to be made, they’re not huge. If your child is a huge fan of pizza (and who isn’t?), they just have to avoid hard, crispy crusts or toppings. Certain foods that are sugary or sticky should be avoided, because they can stick to the teeth and be difficult to remove through brushing or flossing. Hard foods that could potentially damage the braces should also be avoided. Other than those rules, most other foods can be eaten. Plus, remember this temporary treatment will end eventually, meaning the dietary rules will go away completely.

6. Braces Can Pick up Radio Signals

This is kind of a fun one, but it’s simply not true.  There has never been a reported case of anyone’s braces picking up a radio signal.If you are thinking about orthodontic treatment in Melbourne, Contact Us at Melbourne Orthodontics to schedule your first appointment.